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Indian billionaires top in GDP weightage

india Updated: Mar 09, 2008 13:47 IST

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The domestic economy is smaller than that of China and the US, but the wealth of billionaires from India is equivalent to a larger share of the nation's GDP, compared to Americans and Chinese in their respective countries.

The wealth amassed by Indian billionaires -- estimated at 340.9 billion dollars by the US business magazine Forbes -- is nearly 31 per cent of the country's total GDP. This gives them nearly three times more weight in the economy than their American counterparts and over ten times of those in China.

The net worth of all the Chinese billionaires is just about three per cent of the country's GDP, while that for the US billionaires is nearly 11 per cent.

In its annual list of world's billionaires, Forbes said there are a total 42 billionaires in China and 469 in the US with a combined net worth of 95 billion dollars and 1.6 trillion dollars, respectively.

The magazine put the number of Indian billionaires at 53.

According to latest data available with International Monetary Fund (IMF), the GDP size of India, China and the US for 2007 are estimated at 1,089.9 billion dollars, 3,248 billion dollars and 13,794 billion dollars respectively.

The percentage figures for the share of billionaires' wealth in the three countries are based on the analysis of Forbes net worth figures and the GDP size of these economies.

The GDP share of Indian billionaires' wealth is more than four times of the global average also. Forbes magazine put the combined wealth of all 1,125 billionaires in the world at 4.4 trillion dollars, which is just about seven per cent of the world's total GDP size.

With 340.9 billion dollars, Indians account for nearly eight per cent of the world's total billionaire wealth. This is nearly four times of about two per cent held by Chinese, but less than one-fourth of about 36 per cent owned by the Americans.

India has been identified by Forbes as the biggest source of billionaires in Asia, followed by China, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.

However, China saw the highest number of newcomers joining the billionaire club over the past one year, as per Forbes. China saw 28 people joining the ranks of those with at least one billion dollars in wealth each, as against 19 from India.

But, India holds the honour of having the largest number (4) of billionaires in the top 10 -- NRI Lakshmi Mittal (4th), Mukesh Ambani (5th), Anil Ambani (6th) and K P Singh (8th).

In the top 10, there are two Americans -- Warren Buffet at the top and Bill Gates at third -- and one each from Mexico (Carlos Slim Helu at second), Sweden (Ingvar Kamprad at 7th), Russia (Oleg Deripaska at 9th) and Germany (Karl Albrecht 10th).

However, India still remains far below the US in terms of total number of such people, which has as many as 469 billionaires worth a total of 1.6 trillion dollars. There are 656 non-US billionaires worth a total of 2.8 trillion dollars.

Among BRIC countries, Russia has the highest number of billionaires (88) with a combined wealth of over 470 billion dollars. Brazil boasts of 18 billionaires worth 65.1 billion dollars.